Los Angeles S&T Newsletter #49 - April 2014




At the end of this month, UC Irvine, the Saban Research Institute (Los Angeles), and the Scripps Research Institute (San Diego) will welcome Dr. Jean-Marc Egly during the Southern Californian leg of his American tour on research career opportunities in France. Dr. Egly is the special counselor to the chairman and CEO of Inserm, the French national institute of health and medical research. He will be discussing opportunities at Inserm, as well as at the French National Alliance for Life Science and Health (Aviesan) and through the Atip-Avenir Program, which gives young researchers the opportunity to set up and run a research team in France. He will visit UC Irvine and The Saban Research Institute (29 April) and then the Scripps Institute the following day (30 April). Click here for more information.

Competition proposal deadlines are fast approaching. The deadline for applications to the “Life Sciences : inventing – creating – having fun 2014” call for projects is April 13. This program, funded by The Office for Science and Technology, hopes to encourage students and researchers to participate in Life Sciences competitions between the United States and France, as well as to initiate collaborations between French and American scientists and to promote scientific research and practice.

Information about other upcoming events and ongoing competitions (such as the French-American Biotechnology Symposium (FABS) call for proposals or the "Innovation Connecting Show" to be held in Toulouse, France in September 2014) can be found toward the end of this newsletter or online at http://www.France-Science.org/.

Gregory Disse, Science and Technology Intern
Viviane Chansavang, Deputy Attaché for Science and Technology
Fabien Agenes, Attaché for Science and Technology

To read the full version of the April 2014 newsletter, please scroll down. You can also register here to receive emails about events organized by the OST LA.




March 3, 2014 : Cigarette smoking may cause physical changes in brains of young smokers, UCLA study shows.

The young, it turns out, smoke more than any other age group in America. Unfortunately, the period of life ranging from late adolescence to early adulthood is also a time when the brain is still developing.

To access the full article :

March 4, 2014 : Meat and cheese may be as bad as smoking.

That chicken wing you’re eating could be as deadly as a cigarette. In a new study that tracked a large sample of adults for nearly two decades, researchers have found that eating a diet rich in animal proteins during middle age makes you four times more likely to die of cancer than someone with a low-protein diet — a mortality risk factor comparable to smoking.

To access the full article :

March 4, 2014 : Keck School’s experimental drug for ALS shows promise.

Keck School of Medicine of USC neuroscientists have unlocked a piece of the puzzle in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating neurological disorder that robs people of their motor skills. Their findings appear in the March 3 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the official scientific journal of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

To access the full article :

March 6 2014 : Scientists create most detailed picture ever of membrane protein linked to learning, memory, anxiety, pain, and brain disorders.

Researchers at The Scripps Institute and Vanderbilt University have created the most detailed 3D picture yet of a membrane protein that is linked to learning, memory, anxiety, pain, and brain disorders, such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and autism.

To access the full article :

March 6, 2014 : Vitamin D Increases Breast Cancer Patient Survival.

Breast cancer patients with high levels of vitamin D in their blood are twice as likely to survive the disease as women with low levels of this nutrient, report University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers in the March issue of Anticancer Research.

To access the full article :

March 10, 2014 : UV light aids cancer cells that creep along the outside of blood vessels.

A new study by UCLA scientists and colleagues adds further proof to earlier findings by Dr. Claire Lugassy and Dr. Raymond Barnhill of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center that deadly melanoma cells can spread through the body by creeping like tiny spiders along the outside of blood vessels without ever entering the bloodstream.

To access the full article :

March 12, 2014 : Building new drugs just got easier

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a method for modifying organic molecules that significantly expands the possibilities for developing new pharmaceuticals and improving old ones.

To access the full article :

March 12, 2014 : Research Update : Battling Infections with Microbes.

A relationship between gut bacteria and blood cell development helps the immune system fight infection, Caltech researchers say.

To access the full article :

March 13, 2014 : Study led by UA’s Dr. C. Kent Kwoh finds glucosamine fails to prevent deterioration of knee cartilage, decrease pain.

The findings, published in Arthritis and Rheumatology, indicate that glucosamine does not decrease pain or improve knee bone marrow lesions – thought to be a source of pain in those with osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, affecting 27 million Americans over age 25.

To access the full article :

March 13, 2014 : An Equation to Describe the Competition Between Genes.

Caltech researchers develop and verify predictive mathematical model.

To access the full article :

March 13, 2014 : Older adults : Build muscle and you’ll live longer.

New UCLA research suggests that the more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely. The findings add to the growing evidence that overall body composition — and not the widely used body mass index, or BMI — is a better predictor of all-cause mortality.

To access the full article :

Mach 13, 2014 : Stumbling fruit flies lead scientists to discover gene essential for sensing joint position.

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered an important mechanism underlying sensory feedback that guides balance and limb movements.

To access the full article :

March 17, 2014 : New Therapeutic Target Discovered for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Drug candidate blocks production of disease-causing neurotoxins in mouse models.

To access the full article :


March 18, 2014 : Sepsis study comparing three treatment methods shows same survival rate

NIH-funded clinical trial tested specific protocols against usual high-level care.

To access the full article :

March 26, 2014 : Disorganized cortical patches suggest prenatal origin of autism

NIH-funded study shows disrupted cell layering process in the developing brain.

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March 28, 2014 : FDA approves first long-acting recombinant coagulation Factor IX concentrate for patients with Hemophilia B

The US Food and Drug Administration today approved Alprolix, Coagulation Factor IX (Recombinant), Fc Fusion proteion, for use in adults and children who have Hemophilia B. Alprolix is the first Hemophilia B treatment designed to require less frequent injections when used to prevent or reduce the frequency of bleeding.

To access the full article :



March 3, 2014 : 30,000 year-old giant virus found in Siberia.

A new type of giant virus called “Pithovirus” has been discovered in the frozen ground of extreme north-eastern Siberia by researchers from the Information Génomique et Structurale laboratory (CNRS/AMU), in association with teams from the Biologie à Grande Echelle laboratory (CEA/INSERM/Université Joseph Fourier), Génoscope (CEA/CNRS) and the Russian Academy of Sciences. Buried underground, this giant virus, which is harmless to humans and animals, has survived being frozen for more than 30,000 years. Although its size and amphora shape are reminiscent of Pandoravirus, analysis of its genome and replication mechanism proves that Pithovirus is very different. This work brings to three the number of distinct families of giant viruses. It is published on the website of the journal PNAS in the week of March 3, 2014.

To access the full article :

March 3, 2014 : Earth’s mantle plasticity explained.

The Earth’s mantle is a solid layer that undergoes slow, continuous convective motion. But how do these rocks deform, thus making such motion possible, given that minerals such as olivine (the main constituent of the upper mantle) do not exhibit enough defects in their crystal lattice to explain the deformations observed in nature ? A team led by the Unité Matériaux et Transformations (CNRS/Université Lille 1/Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Lille) has provided an unexpected answer to this question. It involves little known and hitherto neglected crystal defects, known as ’disclinations’, which are located at the boundaries between the mineral grains that make up rocks. Focusing on olivine, the researchers have for the first time managed to observe such defects and model the behavior of grain boundaries when subjected to a mechanical stress. The findings, which have just been published in Nature, go well beyond the scope of the geosciences : they provide a new, extremely powerful tool for the study of the dynamics of solids and for the materials sciences in general.

To access the full article :

March 3, 2014 : Europe is joining forces against neglected parasitic diseases.

The international consortium A-PARADDISE (Anti-Parasitic Drug Discovery in Epigenetics), coordinated by Inserm, has just obtained funds of €6 million from the European Commission to conduct large-scale testing of innovative therapies against four neglected parasitic diseases : schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and malaria. The researchers have a common objective : to develop new drugs against the parasites that cause these diseases. The project involves 10 European partners, 5 Brazilian partners (who operate in the region where the diseases are endemic) and 2 Australian partners. They will all be meeting on 17 and 18 March at the Institute of Genetics and Molecular and Cellular Biology (Inserm / CNRS / University of Strasbourg Joint Research Unit), to get the project started.

To access the full article :

March 11, 2014 : Africa’s pollution in the spotlight.

Human activity in Africa significantly contributes to air pollution. However, no detailed data regarding country-by-country pollutant emissions in the continent was available until now. To remedy this, a joint French-Ivory Coast team headed by the Laboratoire d’Aérologie (CNRS / Université Toulouse III – Paul Sabatier)1 mapped these emissions in Africa for 2005, before estimating them for 2030, using three scenarios. The researchers showed that the climate change models used by the IPCC underestimate Africa’s emissions, which could account for 20-55% of global anthropogenic emissions of gaseous and particulate pollutants by 2030. This work, published on 11 March 2014 in the journal Environment Research Letters, will help not only to improve existing climate models, but also to assess the health impacts of pollution in Africa’s urban areas.

To access the full article :





Inflammation and HIV Disease : the role of tryptophan catabolism
April 8 – 12:00 pm
Neuroscience Research Building Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Mike McCune, MD, PhD
More Information : http://happenings.ucla.edu/all/event/126148


Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series
Say Hello to Your Little Friends : How Gut Bacteria can be harnessed as novel therapies for disease
April 2 – 8:00pm
Beckman Auditorium
Featured Speaker : Sarkis Mazmanian (Caltech)

Science Saturdays Series
Space Race Supermen : The Heroes of Early Human Spaceflight
April 26 – 2:00pm
Beckman Auditorium
Host : Kathryn Stack (Caltech)
More Information : http://www.caltech.edu/content/space-race-supermen-heroes-early-human-spaceflight

UC Irvine

Alain Prochiantz Seminar
Homeoprotein Transduction in Brain Development and Physiology
April 17 – 4:00pm
Tamkin F-114
Featured Speaker : Dr. Alain Prochiantz, PhD (Ecole Normale Supérieure – Collège de France, Paris)
More Information : http://www.bio.uci.edu/events/dr-prochiantz-seminar-homeoprotein-transduction-brain-development-physiology/

“Life Sciences : Inventing – Creating – Having Fun” – Deadline : 13 April 2014

The Office for Science and Technology is accepting applications to the “LIFE SCIENCES : inventing - creating – having fun” 2014 competition until April 13. The OST will financially support participations to scientific competitions, contests and games specializing in Life Sciences. This program hopes to encourage students and researchers to participate in exchanges between the United States and France, as well as to initiate collaborations between French and American scientists, and to promote scientific research and practice.

For more information :

French American Biotech Symposium (FABS) Call for Project – Deadline : 23 May 2014

The Office for Science and Technology (OST) is currently searching for a French partner to co-organize the 2015-2016 edition of the French American Biotech Symposium (FABS). Since 2008, the OST has organized a new type of Franco-American one to two-day workshop, centered on the research in these two countries and on organizing exchanges and collaborations between the two. Previous co-organizers have included LyonBiopole and Eurobiomed, with symposium themes including approaches to infectious diseases, aging, and other subjects on health and medicine.

More information about the event, the post, and the application process can be found at : http://france-science.org/Call-for-Proposals-French-American,2568.html.

The International Exhibition of Innovation and Competitiveness – 16-18 September 2014 – Toulouse, France

The first international cross-cutting forum dedicated to generic technologies and their applications

From September 16 to 18, 2014, the first edition of the Innovation Connecting Show will bring together more than 700 international exhibitors of breakthrough innovations and an expected 20,000 visitors at the Parc des Expositions in Toulouse. As a “technopolis” of knowledge, the “Pink City” will raise the banner of international competitiveness, imagining key generic technologies meeting application challenges

The Innovation Connecting Show promotes tomorrow’s breakthrough technologies, which are the key element of competitiveness and growth for businesses. ICS is a place for "product", "service" and "process" innovations to meet with their future application markets. As such, it aims to promote pioneering partnerships and transfers between sectors, through the development and demonstration of key generic technologies - a global market expected to grow 8% by 2015 – reaching 1 trillion euros.

By extension, the ICS will be a vector of synergies between pioneering businesses, training and research centers, territorial institutions, the French state, Europe and large international institutions. Centralized into 14 sectors, these pioneering businesses and their private and institutional partners will be grouped by business clusters, and by French and international clusters. The 20 000 visitors expected during the show will be able to discover them in one of the 400 booths. 1,000 global innovation leaders invited to the event from all around the globe -
Website : http://www.ics-show.com/


Please consult Le Fil de Marianne for further information on international calls and job offers.


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Dernière modification : 23/02/2016

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